Revamp Your Home: Backyard Oasis, Deck Refinishing & More DIY Tips

Did you know that homeownership rates can vary significantly around the world? In the United States, approximately 65% of households own their homes, a figure that has fluctuated over the years due to economic conditions and housing market trends.

In contrast, countries like Romania boast some of the highest homeownership rates globally, with over 90% of the population owning their homes. Factors influencing these rates include cultural attitudes towards renting versus owning, government policies, and the availability of affordable housing.

Interestingly, in some countries, multi-generational living arrangements contribute to higher homeownership rates, as properties are often passed down through families.

In today’s email:

  • Summers Here: Your Backyard Oasis

  • Deck DIY: Spruce up that old deck

  • Garage: Time to lube the hinges & rollers

  • Not WD40: What to use on the garage door

  • Wall Plug Adapters: Now with USB C

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Home Improvement: Backyard Oasis

Backyard Oasis

Transforming your backyard into an outdoor entertainment space is the perfect summer project to enhance your home and create a welcoming environment for friends and family.

Start by selecting a suitable area that offers both sun and shade, ensuring comfort throughout the day. Consider installing a pergola or a retractable awning to provide flexible shade options.

Next, invest in durable, weather-resistant furniture that can withstand the elements while offering comfort and style. A mix of seating options, such as lounge chairs, benches, and a dining set, can cater to various activities from casual lounging to formal dinners.

Incorporate a fire pit or an outdoor fireplace to extend the usability of the space into cooler evenings, creating a cozy ambiance. Lighting is crucial for setting the mood and ensuring safety; string lights, lanterns, and solar-powered path lights can add a magical touch.

Don’t forget to integrate some greenery with potted plants, vertical gardens, or even a small herb garden to bring life and color to the area. For entertainment, consider adding an outdoor sound system, a projector for movie nights, or even a game area with options like cornhole or bocce ball.

Finally, ensure there are convenient amenities such as an outdoor kitchen or a bar cart stocked with summer refreshments.

DIY Projects: Deck Refinish

Refinished Deck

Refinishing a wood deck can breathe new life into your outdoor space, and it's a project you can tackle over a weekend with the right tools and materials.

Start by thoroughly cleaning the deck using a power washer or a deck cleaner to remove dirt, mildew, and old finish. You may need to use a Deck Coating Stripper.

Allow the deck to dry completely, which may take a day or two depending on the weather.

Next, inspect the deck for any damaged boards or protruding nails and make necessary repairs.

Sand the entire surface using a belt sander for large areas and a detail sander for corners and tight spots, ensuring a smooth finish. You can rent large floor sanders from most Home Depot stores.

Once sanding is complete, sweep away any dust and debris. I would use my leaf blower for this.

Apply a high-quality wood stain or sealant using a brush, roller, or sprayer, working in small sections to ensure even coverage.

Allow the first coat to dry as per the manufacturer's instructions before applying a second coat for added protection and durability.

Finally, let the deck cure for at least 24-48 hours before placing furniture or walking on it, and enjoy your beautifully refinished deck!

Home Maintenance and Repairs: Lubricating your Garage Door parts

Lubricate Rollers

To ensure your garage door operates smoothly and quietly, it's essential to lubricate its rollers, hinges, and springs regularly.

Begin by gathering the necessary supplies: a silicone-based lubricant or white lithium grease, a ladder, and a clean cloth. Do not use regular WD-40.

First, disconnect the garage door opener to prevent any accidental movements. Using the ladder, access the rollers and apply a small amount of lubricant directly to the bearings inside each roller, wiping away any excess with the cloth.

Next, move on to the hinges, applying lubricant to the pivot points where the metal parts meet, ensuring smooth movement.

Finally, for the springs, apply the lubricant along the length of the torsion or extension springs, taking care to coat them evenly without over-saturating.

After lubricating all components, manually open and close the garage door a few times to distribute the lubricant evenly, then reconnect the opener.

Regular lubrication, ideally every six months, will prolong the life of your garage door components and maintain optimal performance.

Product Reviews: Garage Door Lube

Garage Door Lube

Before you go spraying your garage door parts with regular WD-40 have a look at the 3-IN-ONE Professional Garage Door Lube. It’s a game-changer for anyone looking to maintain their garage door systems with minimal hassle an a lot less mess.

This quick-drying, no-mess formula is incredibly easy to apply and effectively minimizes friction, ensuring smooth and quiet operation for both residential and commercial garage doors.

I was particularly impressed with how it significantly reduced the noise and resistance in my garage door tracks and rollers, making the door glide effortlessly.

The precision spray nozzle allows for targeted application, preventing any unnecessary overspray and waste.

Overall, this lubricant is a must-have for anyone seeking a reliable and efficient solution to prolong the life and performance of their garage door system.

Home Technology & Gadgets: USB Type A & C Wall Plug Adapter

Wall Adapter with USB A & C and Surge Protection

The latest innovation in home and office convenience is the new wall outlet adapter featuring both Type A and Type C charging ports. It’s super convenient as you don’t need to change the actual outlet. Just plug in the adapter and your good to go!

This dual-port design caters to a wide range of devices, from older gadgets that still rely on the ubiquitous Type A USB to the latest smartphones and laptops that utilize the faster, more efficient Type C connection. Some even have built in surge protection.

No longer do you need to juggle multiple adapters or search for the right charger; this outlet adapter has you covered. Its sleek, modern design seamlessly integrates into any environment, providing a clutter-free solution that enhances both functionality and aesthetics.

Whether you're powering up your phone, tablet, or laptop, this versatile outlet adapter ensures you stay connected and charged up with ease, making it an essential upgrade for any tech-savvy household or workspace.

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That’s it for this week.

If you have questions, suggestions, or feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help you navigate the path to becoming a knowledgeable and confident homeowner.

Thank you,

Ron Henderson, CMI
The Handy Homeowner Newsletter

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